Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We are carefully monitoring the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and following the guidelines and recommendations of the CDC and government health agencies as we develop our response to the virus. This page shares information about our preparations and responses and will be updated as the situation evolves.

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Lowell School's campus will be closed through the end of April. Remote learning is in effect as of March 17.

List of 3 items.

  • Head of School Letter—Mar. 31, Extending Closure

    Dear Lowell Families,
     
    With Mayor Bowser’s announcement on March 20 extending school closure until April 27, and her order yesterday afternoon for residents to stay at home, it probably comes as no surprise that I write today to inform you that Lowell’s campus will remain closed until April 27.
     
    I share this news with mixed emotions, and perhaps you receive it in the same manner. Three weeks ago, when I wrote you announcing the closure of campus, I imagined that we would be back by mid-April. To know that we will not be is disappointing and frustrating. I am deeply concerned about the health of our global and national community, and I miss your children. I miss my colleagues. I want to see spring in bloom on campus. I feel for you trying to work and support your children’s learning in ways you never thought you would be called on to execute. I feel for many of our faculty and staff who are doing the same with their own work and their own children.
     
    And yet, my sadness is counterbalanced by the growth and blooming that is happening. We are all, adults and children, stretching in some way. Our teachers reimagined the concept of a Lowell education in two days and delivered a remote educational program for their students! We are all growing in our ability to live with resilience and channel our inner resourcefulness. Our students have embraced remote learning with enthusiasm and engagement. Who knew we were capable of rising to such challenges? As we continue to face this crisis, there is no other community with which I would rather be connected.
     
    My approach throughout this crisis has been to make decisions with intention and thought, the hallmark of how Lowell educators approach education. I remain connected to other heads of school nationally and locally through weekly meetings sponsored by AISGW (Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington) and NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools). I am communicating with our Board of Trustees. We continue to rely on the advice of the WHO, CDC, and local health officials. Knowing that we will be away from each other for the next month at least, our first order of business is to turn to what April will look like.

    Remote Learning

    By design, the remote learning plan we have in place for Pre-Primary through Middle School is informed by our knowledge and understanding of childhood development, our attention to research and best practices, our commitment to equity, and our awareness of accessibility in families where everyone is online but not everyone has internet or 1:1 device access in the house.
     
    We made a conscious decision to start simply and safely with remote teaching, moving slowly into live—otherwise known as “synchronous”—learning. Our goal with this iterative process is to have a system that is sustainable over time for everyone involved. We recognize that reflection and revision of instruction delivery are critical, just as it is when teachers and students are in a classroom together.
     
    Division directors spent part of their spring break considering the results of the survey that you, our faculty, and our staff completed. They are working with faculty this week to apply some of the feedback. Our goal is to begin implementing synchronous learning in developmentally appropriate ways no later than next week, and we will continue to reflect and adjust the remote learning model as necessary. Knowing what you feel is going well or not going well will help us continue to develop and refine teaching across all grade levels. We will continue to ask for your survey feedback, with the next one coming to you via next week's edition of The Loop. We are sensitive to survey fatigue; at the same time, your voice is critical to the continuing evolution of our plan.

    Community Support

    We are thinking deeply about ways that we can facilitate support of the broader community at various levels. To start, our technology office will be sending out a communication offering a weekly Zoom chat regarding online learning at Lowell for any parent or caregiver who needs assistance or has questions.
     
    I also shared with you in my last communication that we are exploring ways to help facilitate a support group of Lowell families impacted by the virus. We are actively investigating other ideas and will let you know about them as they become fully developed.

    Looking Forward

    While we are extending remote learning through April 27, we are well aware, based on past experience, that this may need to be further extended into May. Given this possibility, I have asked the teachers to prepare for the continuation of remote learning to the end of the school year with the caveat that if circumstances appreciably improve and it is advised, we will consider returning to onsite learning sooner. Please continue to use our coronavirus webpage as your vehicle for receiving the most updated information regarding our remote learning plan and other information.
     
    I want to acknowledge the students who are wondering about the spring events that are significant Lowell milestones in their lives. In particular, I want to speak directly to the disappointment our 8th graders are feeling with the disruption of events. We want to do everything we can to bring their final year at Lowell to a meaningful culmination with all the fanfare they deserve. We will continue to keep you updated as we make plans for recognizing their achievements.
     
    I am a huge Winnie the Pooh fan. I am comforted by his eternal optimism and observations of his friends and the world around him. Recently, when I begin to feel frustrated or overwhelmed, I hear a famous Winnie the Pooh quote in my head. I offer it to you in closing as we return to remote learning from spring break:
     
    “You are braver than you believe,
    Smarter than you seem,
    And stronger than you think.”
     
    Missing you all,
     
    Donna
  • Head of School Letter—Mar. 26, COVID 19 Update

    Dear Lowell Community,
     
    Today, I learned that more than one member of the Lowell community has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. A Primary School parent began feeling symptoms of the virus on Monday, March 16, four days after campus was closed. Now, both parents and their child have confirmed cases of the virus. Also on March 16, the partner of a Primary School staff member began feeling symptoms and has now received confirmation of test results. The staff member has not yet been tested but has been told by the health department to assume she has a presumptive positive case. All affected by the virus are in self-isolation and want the community to know this important information.
     
    Since these are the first confirmed cases of the virus in our community, I want to share as much information as possible while maintaining the privacy of those who are affected. We will continue to track cases in our community as they come forward and update you periodically. One of the parents has expressed an interest in starting a support group of Lowell families who are experiencing the effects of the virus, and we are exploring ways to help facilitate this.
     
    My heart goes out to these members of our school community, and I wish them all a speedy recovery. The leadership team and I are committed to protecting the health of the Lowell community and also supporting individuals who test positive for the COVID-19 virus.
     
    Please continue to visit our coronavirus webpage and consult local, national, and world health organizations for the most up-to-date information and guidance. For additional data on coronavirus testing in the District of Columbia, visit Mayor Bowser’s coronavirus website. Practicing good hygiene, limiting travel and social interaction, and following the directives of our health and government officials remain the most effective ways of combating the virus.
     
    I also want to urge everyone to show care and compassion for one another, especially those affected by the virus but also those who are feeling anxious, stressed, or otherwise blue. Reach out by phone, text, chat, or mail. Nurturing our connections will help us meet the challenges ahead with strength, resolve, and heart.
     
    I appreciate your partnership in slowing the spread of this virus and safe-guarding the well-being of our Lowell family and also our larger community.
     
    Donna Lindner
    Head of School
  • Head of School Letter—Mar. 26, Thank You

    Dear Lowell Families,
     
    On this sunny Thursday of our spring break, I wanted to take a minute to write and thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done to support Lowell this year—including putting your trust in us during these unprecedented times. Your messages of gratitude for the teachers and staff who rallied so quickly to ensure your children keep learning remotely have energized us. As we move forward through these unchartered waters, I have been heartened over and over again by the acts of kindness I have seen from all in our community—parents, students, teachers and staff, alums and alum families.
     
    I am continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation in partnership with our response team and will communicate as we go. Thanks to our can-do teachers and technology team, remote instruction and learning were launched last week with gusto. I was delighted to hear the stories of our teachers and students adapting to this new reality—from pictures of students dancing with Elly Porter to a lesson about Phineas, the bearded dragon in the Pre-Primary School’s Wonder Lab.
     
    Remote learning surveys (links below) were emailed last week and if you have not yet filled one out, please consider doing so in the next couple of days. We want to hear your suggestions to know what is working and not working for your family. I understand and empathize with how tricky it must be to balance remote learning and your own work and home lives. Please give yourselves some grace as you move through these days at home.
     
    While I can’t say I ever imagined anything like this happening in my first year as Lowell’s head of school, I feel grateful to be a part of this community during this unsettling time. Everything I had thought about Lowell during my interview process has proven to be true. This is a community of givers and doers who take care of each other.
     
    I am confident that we will come out of this crisis stronger and more connected. Thank you for all that you are doing to take care of yourselves, your families, your neighbors, and friends. We look forward to restarting our remote learning next week and please keep the stories and photos coming!
     
    Enjoy this very different spring break with your families and know that all of us at Lowell are thinking about you.
     
    With gratitude,
     
    Donna S. Lindner
    Head of School

List of 7 items.

  • Travel Guidance Revised 3/19/2020

    State Department Global Level 4 Health Advisory: Do Not Travel (March 19, 2020)

    "The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.  In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel. Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice.  Airlines have canceled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips.  If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe."

    We ask that all community members follow State Department and CDC guidelines for international and domestic travel.

    Anyone who has traveled to or through a country deemed Level 3 by the CDC must follow CDC and department of health guidelines, inform Nurse Mary, and practice self isolation for a minimum of 14 days taking a temperature twice daily and paying attention to symptoms of illness.

    Anyone who has traveled to a region where COVID-19 spreading and who is experiencing symptoms should reach out by phone to doctors and report to Nurse Mary any guidance you or your family receives from local health officials.
  • Prevention - Revised 3/19/2020

    Knowing how viruses spread is the first step in prevention. The CDC recommends the best way to prevent contracting coronavirus is to avoid being exposed. The coronavirus is believed to be spread person-to-person through close contact, less than 6 feet apart, through respiratory droplets.

    The most effective way to protect yourself and others is to minimize the spread of infectious disease by social distancing and following a few basic health best practices. 


    For more detailed information, please visit the CDC How to Protect Yourself page.
  • Symptoms - Updated 3/20/20

    The CDC has listed the following symptoms of COVID-19:
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of Breath
    Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. The CDC recommends that you seek medical advice if you develop symptoms, have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently been in an area with the ongoing spread of COVID-19.

    FROM THE CDC
    If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face
    *This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
  • What To Do If You Are Sick - Added 3/20/20

    If you or your family members have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and other symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider.
     
    Visit the CDC website to learn more about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick, including how to isolate yourself at home, how to monitor your symptoms, and how to disinfect your home effectively.
     
    According to the CDC, the decision to stop home isolation should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider and state and local health departments. Local decisions depend on local circumstances.
  • Remote Learning - Revised 3/19/2020

    Lowell’s remote learning plan is designed to help students and teachers stay connected with one another and to support students’ continued growth and development while the campus is closed.

    Our plan addresses the full range of children’s learning—academic, social-emotional, and physical—with meaningful, age-appropriate opportunities for learning, both on- and off-screen. We know that our students learn best and increase their independence through hands-on activities and by doing. Teachers will share lessons, activities, and resources using routines and formats that are as familiar and engaging as possible.
     
    We recognize that each family’s circumstances are different, and we aim to provide activities and lessons that will be manageable for our entire community.
  • Inclusion and Equity

    Lowell is an inclusive community that values equity and social justice. With increasing reports of harassment of people who are perceived to be from countries where coronavirus is spreading, we remind our community that staying well informed of the facts, following guidelines from public health agencies, and constructively addressing fears or worries are the most effective ways to respond to the virus. We will not tolerate bullying, harassment, or stigmatizing behaviors of any kind.
  • School Trips and Events - Revised 3/19/2020

    Given the nature of the virus and its impact both internationally and domestically, the Middle School capstone trips, as well as the 4th grade Echo Hill and 5th Grade Calleva spring field trips, have been canceled.

List of 6 items.

List of 5 events.

  • Apr
    2

    MS Capstone Trip Meeting-CANCELED

  • Apr
    13

    Canceled-A Labor of Love: Black Hair Care Workshop Series

  • Apr
    15

    4th Grade Echo Hill Trip-CANCELED

  • Apr
    18

    Canceled-Lowell Camping Trip

  • Apr
    25

    8th Grade Capstone Trip-CANCELED

View All Events

Local Health Departments

Lowell School is a private PK-8th grade school located in NW Washington, DC. At Lowell students gain the knowledge, skills, and social-emotional literacy to be the bold leaders and creative problem solvers our world needs.